Israel shortens quarantine as COVID chief reports 20,000 new cases

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Israel shortens quarantine as COVID chief reports 20,000 new cases

Israel Hayom via JNS
By Maytal Yasur Beit-Or and Ariel Kahana

Under pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett weighs ending weeklong quarantine for unvaccinated students exposed to the virus.

Beginning on Wednesday, Israelis who test positive for the COVID-19 virus but are asymptomatic, as well as those exposed to the virus, will need to quarantine for five days instead of the previous seven.

Confirmed carriers will need to take an at-home antigen test on the fourth and fifth day of their quarantine, and will be able to leave quarantine provided they test negative twice and are asymptomatic. Unvaccinated individuals exposed to a confirmed carrier will be able to exit quarantine upon testing negative on the fifth day of their isolation period.

In an interview with Army Radio on Wednesday morning, Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said a record number of cases, 71,000, had been confirmed the previous day. He said 200,000 Israelis had likely tested positive for the virus; many performed at-home antigen tests.

Meanwhile, following public pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to hold talks with senior Health Ministry officials to formulate a plan to end the current policy of week-long quarantines for unvaccinated students exposed to a carrier. Bennett is said to have been more open to the move after being told by health officials that the virus’s reproduction rate is expected to decline significantly over the next seven to 10 days.

This is an edited version of a report that first appeared in Israel Hayom.

Caption: A young girl quarantine in her home due to COVID-19, in Moshav Haniel, on Dec, 23, 2021.
Photo by Chen Leopold/Flash90.


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